A CALLOUS father and daughter with more than 150 crimes between them are today behind bars for conning an 84-year-old dementia sufferer.
A judge told 48-year-old Michael Casey and 25-year-old Nadine Casey that they had targeted a vulnerable victim and locked them up for a year each.
Such was the effect of the con that the victim’s whole life was turned upside down.
His condition rapidly deteriorated and he ended up moving into a care home having lived an independent life for the previous 30 years.
A court heard how the pair persuaded the pensioner that he needed roof repairs, despite work being carried out by a reputable firm just a month earlier.
Michael Casey agreed a price of £60 for the work. But he and his daughter went to the bank with the victim where the confused man tried to cash a cheque for £600.
An alert cashier, who knew the victim, stalled the cheque while she tried to contact the man’s daughter, who then alerted police.
The Caseys were found inside the man’s home and arrested for fraud.
Teesside Crown Court heard how the callous crime had a devastating impact on the victim and his family.
Shortly afterwards, the pensioner’s condition deteriorated and he had to move into a care home.
He had previously lived independently in his home of 30 years thanks to arrangements made by his family and with help from neighbours.
Sue Jacobs, prosecuting, said: “The day after it happpened he started flinching if anyone, even his daughter, approached him quickly or unexpectedly.
“He believed the girl was waiting for him somewhere in the house, and he repeatedly had to check the rooms.
“His daughter said, in short, that everything changed as a result of this particular incident.”
Michael Casey was wearing a Good Tenants’ Scheme badge and had a Safer Hartlepool wallet when he was arrested.
He also stole three shilling coins from the old man’s mantelpiece.
Robin Denny, mitigating for Michael Casey, said the crime was opportunistic but suggested the victim’s deterioration may have happened naturally due to the dementia.
He added: “It was only at a later stage that he began to appreciate the condition of the complainant.”
Aisha Wadoodi, mitigating for Nadine Casey, said they had not taken him to the bank in an aggressive way and apologised for the distress called.
Michael Casey, of Baden Street, Hartlepool, admitted fraud and theft over the incident in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, on October 28 last year.
Nadine Casey, formerly of Hartlepool, now of Enfield Street, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to fraud and Judge Peter Armstrong said prison was unavoidable.
He said: “The offences are so serious no other sentence can be justified.
“Anybody taking an elderly gentleman to the bank clearly knows that gentleman is suffering.
“So this was targeting of a vulnerable victim.”
The officer leading the investigation, Detective Constable Iain Pearson, was pleased with the jail terms handed out.
He added: “While this crime is a rare occurrence, we hope the sentences passed will act as a deterrent to those considering committing a similar offence.
“Our thoughts and thanks go out to the family and friends of the victim, whom without which a successful conviction could not have been possible.”